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Flashcards in Research Methods Deck (30):

what is the difference between a 'hard' and 'soft' science?

A hard science is objective and measurable where as a soft science relies on interpretations rather than solid scientific data.

there is a huge debate whether psychology is a soft science.


What is the scientific method?

1. initial observations
2. Theory
3. Hypothesis
4. Research
5. Research data


What is Falsification? (Karl Popper 1934)

The Idea that no amount of positive evidence can confirm a theory but one single piece of negative evidence from research can refute a theory.


To be scientifically testable, a hypothesis must be....

1. be clearly defined
2. non circular ( circular rationale is when the reason for behaviour is also the cause of behaviour)
3. Deal with observable/measurable phenomena


what is Nominal data? what would you report in the results section if you were using nominal/categorical data

Nominal data is in the form of frequencies within discrete categories e.g male/female

You would use non-parametric tests, and use counts/percentages.


what is ordinal data? what would you use in the results section?

data that can be places in order but the intervals are not equal, e.g shoe size or army rank

you would use the median, the range and non parametric tests.


what is reliability?

Refers to the consistency and dependability of a particular measure..

tests include- split half and test-retest


what is interrater reliability?

this is to the extent in which observers agree.


what is the standard definition of validity, and what are the different constructs of the term?

Validity is the extent to which your measure is measuring what it intends to measure.

Construct validity- e.g if designed to measure happiness, does it measure happiness.
Face validity- does it appear to be valid
Predictive validity- is there a relationship between alevel results and uni performance
Concurrent- are results similar to those of similar studies
Discriminate validity- looks at the distinctiveness of the theory.


what is consequentialism? (results based)

Of all the things a person might do in any given moment, the morally right action is the one which produces the best overall consequences....

follows two principles!
1. the right or wrong depends on the consequences of the act
2. the more positive consequences, the more right the act.


what are the strengths and weaknesses or consequentialism?

the strengths are that it is clear, flexible and practical.

the weaknesses are that no type action is inherently wrong


what is Deontology?

Deontology is rule based meaning moral actions follow rules regardless of the consequences.

rules include- its wrong to tell lies or it is wrong to kill people.

Immanuel Kant- if your intentions are good so are your actions.


what is the Nuremburg code and the Declaration of Helsinki?

Doctors from Nazi concentration camps were put on trail in Nuremburg. it is a set of rules for human experimentation as a result from the inhumane studies from Nazi doctors

the Declaration of Helsinki is also a set of rules for human experimentation, developed for the medical community. It is a development of the Nuremburg code.


in terms of samples, what is Selection bias?

this is the over-representation of a segment population.
For example if the population of interest is psychology and sociology students, a selection bias would occur if only 30% of the pps were sociology students and 70% were psychology students


What is volunteer bias?

Rosenthal and Rosnow suggested that volunteers are...
1. more highly educated
2. have a higher need for approval
3. are more arousal seeking
4. more likely to be females rather than males
5. are less authoritarian


What is the difference between a simple random sample and a systematic random sample?

in a random sample, pps are chosen at complete random where as in a systematic random sample, pps are selected at a fixed periodic interval.


what is a stratified sample?

this is when a representative percentage of each subgroup within the population is selected.

e.g if within the population there was 200 students in which 60% were female and 40% were male, in the selected sample of 20 students, 12 should be female and 8 should be male.


what is Cluster Probability Sampling?

Dividing population into groups or clusters and then selecting a random sample of clusters


what is opportunity/convenience sampling?

this is when pps are conveniently available..


What is Purposive Sampling

this is when participants belong to a specific group.

selection is not random
e.g people diagnosed with ADHD


what is the difference between probability sampling and non-probability sampling?

Probability sampling involves random selection of pps and each member of the population has an equal probability of being chosen. there is a high level of representation

non-probability sampling the probability of any member of the population being chosen is unknown. Representation and generalisation is unclear.


What is time and event sampling?

time sampling is choosing various time intervals for observations which can be random or systematic

Event sampling is selecting specific events/ behaviours


The Hawthorne effect

This is when people change their behaviour because they are being studied

discovered by Landsberger in 1950


what is the idiographic approach?

this is an approach which looks at individuals functioning as opposed to searching for general laws of behaviour

it tries to understand what makes the studies individual unique


what is the Nomothetic approach?

this approach tries to establish general and universal laws of behaviour that applies to large groups of people.


what did Gordon Allport suggest about the nomothetic approach?

suggested that the nomothetic approach is inadequate and that the study of the individual is important


outline and evaluate case studies.

case studies are the intensive study or an individual or small group of people.

case studies produce rich and meaning full data and is exploratory. they can produce rare phenomena e.g the mind of a mneminist

however case studies lack ecological validity , they have confirmation bias and have difficulty establishing cause and effect.


What is an AB design?

this is when behaviour is measured, an intervention is then put in place and after this behaviour is recorded again.

the idea is to analyse the difference in behaviour before and after the intervention.


what is the ABAB design?

AB design repeated twice... so the intervention is applied, then withdrawn and then applied again.

ABAB designs are useful as they provide continuous assessment. they also provide a baseline assessment

they also assess stability of performance and can help find averages.

this design has high internal validity as the method is repeated.


How can data be evaluated in ABAB designs?

1. you can use means and average values
2. you can do a slope or trend analysis
3. level analysis- looks at the difference in one phase and the first observation in the next
4. latency analysis- how quickly does different phases become apparent.